Karnataka HC invokes Upanishads to reprimand sons who neglected ageing parentstext_fields
Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court, under the leadership of Justice Krishna S. Dixit, has declared that there can be no redemption for sons who fail to fulfil their responsibilities towards their ageing parents.
The ruling emphasized the profound significance of parental care as enshrined in the Vedas and Upanishads, which hold parents, teachers, and guests in the highest regard.
The court's ruling was prompted by a petition filed by two brothers, Gopal and Mahesh, who sought exemption from paying a maintenance amount of Rs 10,000 each for the care of their mother. The brothers contended that although they were willing to personally care for their mother, she was presently residing forcefully with their sisters.
Addressing the brothers' plea, the bench acknowledged the existence of laws to restore marital rights but emphasized the absence of any provision in the law that could compel a mother to reside exclusively with her sons. Instead, the court commended the daughters for their commitment to looking after their mother.
Drawing inspiration from the ancient scriptures, the bench quoted the Taittiriya Upanishad, stating that during old age, the responsibility of caring for the mother lies with the son. The court underscored the moral obligation to respect and care for parents, teachers, and guests, asserting that neglecting such duties carries profound consequences.
"But, today’s generation is failing to take care of their parents. It is not a good development that such numbers are rising," the bench said.
It underlined that since both the sons are physical, it cannot be claimed that they cannot provide maintenance.
"If a man can take care of his wife, why can’t he take care of his mother? One son is getting rent. The argument of the sons that they will take care of their mother can’t be agreed. There is no law to force a mother. It also can’t be agreed that the daughters are conspiring and forcing her to stay at their homes. If not for the daughters, the mother would have been on the streets."
Justice Dixit appreciated the daughters for taking care of their mother.
The bench also ordered the sons to pay Rs 20,000 maintenance to their mother.
The 84-year-old Venkatamma from Mysuru was living with her daughters. After leaving her son's residence, she had approached the divisional officer in Mysuru maintenance from Gopal and Mahesh
As per the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, the order was given for the sons to provide Rs 5,000 each to their mother.
The District Commissioner later had increased the maintenance amount from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 each.
The brothers challenging this order had approached the High Court and claimed that they won’t pay the maintenance but they will take care of their mother instead.